One of Coronado’s hidden gems just might be the Veterans Resource Center at the Coronado Public Library. This area near the Reference Desk is full of information to help improve quality of life for veterans by connecting them and their families to benefits and services for which they are eligible.
The library received a grant to set up its Veterans Resource Center in December 2019, as part of a partnership with the California Department of Veterans Affairs. “The focus is to provide information to reintegrate California veterans into the California workforce and our communities,” said Shaun Briley, Director of Library Services, noting that “in addition to helping with benefit claims, we aim to connect veterans and their families to the full range of library resources.”
Veterans Resource Center resources include:
JobNow/VetNow online resource. This is an online suite of resources and services for veteran career and other needs. Through the Veteran Navigator tool, vets can connect to a specialist in real-time who can provide services such as live job coaching and attaining VA benefits. JobNow/VetNow also offers resume feedback within 24 hours of submitting a draft.
Referrals to County Services. Library staff can refer veterans to and schedule virtual one-on-one sessions with the San Diego County Office of Military and Veterans Affairs. For example, many veterans may feel anxious or depressed following the recent events in Afghanistan and the Office can help with mental-health issues.
Goody bags. Veterans may request bags received as part of the grant that contain a handbook, pamphlet, USB drive, notebook, pen, and a paracord bracelet completed by community members during the Library’s summer reading program.
Public Programs. “Ever mindful of our military community, we continually schedule programs such as, recently, a lecture on the history of naval aviation here in Coronado,” said Briley. The Library’s Veterans Writing group was its flagship veteran program. It stopped meeting during the pandemic but is poised to resume. In September 2020 the Library partnered with the San Diego Workforce Partnership to offer a program on effective job searching for veterans; in November it offered a class to help veterans have difficult conversations with non-veterans; and in spring 2021 screened a documentary about greeting troops returning from Afghanistan which was followed by a discussion. More events are planned; visit cplevents.org to see the Library’s events calendar.
Other Resources. In addition to Veterans Resource Center offerings, the Library invites veterans to peruse its collections of books and other materials for veterans, explore websites with links to local resources for veterans, and to use computer equipment for extended periods in order to complete online applications and do research.
For more information on the Veterans Resource Center, visit the Library Reference Desk or go to coronadolibrary.org and click Veterans Resource Center in the left-hand navigation menu.